Qui: Life, Water, Living

The LA duo’s third album - no holds barred.

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Having collaborated with The Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow and getting heartily endorsed by Mike Patton (via his acclaimed label Ipecac), LA duo Qui are evidently not in the business of delivering the expected.

On album three, they make a welcome return to the off-kilter vocal harmonies and subtly intricate arrangements of their 2003 debut Baby Kisses, the band’s obvious love of 70s rock’s oddest fish – Sparks, Queen, Zappa – colliding with a refined pop sensibility that places them on vaguely similar territory to the UK’s own Field Music, albeit with a less heavily disguised penchant for progressive sonic hues.

The noise-mongery of the band’s work with Yow rears its head again on the spiky Mucho Sex In America, wherein ugly distortion and a kraut-punk pulse conspire to evoke the spirit of early Pere Ubu. In contrast, the watery jazz fumblings of Boogie Down Disappointment and serene staccato drift of Awkward Human Interest indicate a devotion to elegance and subtlety that suits Qui perfectly.

The freakish note-flurries and demented detours of The Kind Of Jazz This Is promise to delight fans of Fripp and Gentle Giant.